December 15 2011 Astronomy Newsletter
Here is this week's article:
Christmas in the skies
Christmas is a special day with a magic of its own. A Christmas eclipse is a great treat and centuries ago a long-awaited comet finally showed up on Christmas day. On the other hand, imagine spending the holidays a quarter of a million miles from home as the crew of Apollo 8 did.
On December 10, the last total lunar eclipse until 2014 occurred. The Big Picture has a stunning collection of photographs from around the world at http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/12/lunar_eclipse_of_december_10_2.html. It's hard to choose a favorite, but the one of the setting Moon apparently nestled in a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge is awesome.
*Happy birthday, Tycho Brahe*
Yesterday, December 14, was the 465th anniversary of the birth of the most accomplished astronomer of his age, the Dane Tycho Brahe. It was his careful observations over a period of years – in the days before telescopes – that provided the data which allowed Kepler to to formulate his laws of planetary motion. Tycho was also quite a colourful character and his remains were recently exhumed. However there has still been no report on the findings. Do they think he was murdered?
For more information about Tycho Brahe, see http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28652.asp.
That's all for now. Wishing you clear skies.
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